Vendor Spotlight: Photo Market

Hey y’all, just getting rejoining the internets here.  Seems I’ve taken the month of September (originally intended for relaxation and learning new craft skills) and turned it in to the month of being insanely busy getting ready for an art show, making jewelry to match, going on location at work and thinking far ahead in to the future (i.e. December) and figuring just how many little bottle caps I’ll be squirting epoxy resin in to for the next 60 days.

nice purple grey vines, PM!

Considering my recurrent need for them over the last several days, I want to take a minute to give all credit where its due to the folks at Photo Market at 945 Forest Ave. in Portland.

perfect September sunset gradation

I use these guys for everything.  And no matter how busy they are whenever I go in someone is bound to be good for a laugh.  Which works for me because my internal laugh-o-meter gauges how endearing others are.

this one prints perfect every time

Most importantly, the staff there has embraced (albeit reluctantly, I mean, who wouldn’t) my fickle process of shooting in film and printing digitally.  It’s born out of necessity (no darkroom access and…no time!) but they stopped making fun of me and trying to sell me digital cameras long ago.  Thanks guys.  🙂

art show at a flower shop ooh la la

So if you’re curious to see the handywork of their printers maybe you might like to stop at the gallery above Harmon’s & Barton’s on First Friday for a peek at my solo art show “Orchards and Atmospheres.”  Not only did they print the photographs but they printed the images I use in bottle cap jewelry, magnets and pins.  On Friday you’ll see these little versions alongside the large photographs…a more portable, affordable version of the real thing!

the perfect set for your friend molly

P.S.  What else is new?  I’m going to Find tomorrow to drop off some wares!  Paper Moon in Westbrook gets a visit later this week.  Meanwhile I’m plug-plug-plugging away at getting my Etsy site full of interesting listings.

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Pictures of Behbehs!

Becoming an aunt came with lots of fun extras:  recapturing hide-and-seek as a normal passtime, random (free) babysitting opportunities, and diaper changing poo-review.  All these and more were worth it to have a 24/7 built in baby girl to take pictures of.

she cannot stop me from snapping!

My lofty goals as a an ‘art photographer’ have dissolved in the mid-to-late 20’s overload of weddings, births and kids growing up.  Dreams of showing cerebral work in underground galleries made way for snapping portraits of thoughtful babies for family photo albums.

C. doing "Kisses"

But because I can do both of these simultaneously (lofty goals, humble portraits) I’m feeling pretty excellent about spending time with these vertically challenged, incredibly observant fresh little human people.

peek-a-boo

Portrait sessions, FYI, are $120, last about an hour to an hour and a half at a location of your choosing and include a CD of high resolution images that you can print to your heart’s delight.  I photograph using a Mamiya C330 twin lens camera ca. 1970s-80s. using medium format film.  Negatives are available for purchase, in addition to the CD, if you’d like.

With the holidays coming up these might be a really nice something to slip in with the the gifts to Grandma, Grampy and everyone else.

And for the DIY crowd out there, some simple tips for photographing kids:  get down low, be on their level.  Try not to overly engage the child you’re photographing – images taken when they’re ‘doing their own thing’ will be a lot more honest and less forced.  Lastly, bring some props that the little bean won’t mind using – i.e. a big lollipop, a bubble machine or a radio flyer:  the list goes on.  Keep the composition simple and focused on what’s important and you’re sure to make some winners.

Vendor Spotlight: Beadin’ Path

When I moved back to Portland a full grown adult with dozens and dozens crafting and art-making needs, I was quite overwhelmed with the many suppliers in the area.  While they all had great selection, my allegiance always lies with the greatest overall customer service experience.  Every now and again I’ll be sharing these happy places with you so we’re giving credit where credit’s due.  🙂

Today I’d like to point out the amazingness that is Beadin’ Path in Freeport, Maine.  Right across from the fire station.  Searching, searching, searching for a very specific item: ring backs.  Who had it?  They did.  And what’s more — who had it and made a point of communicating with me via phone and email when I made an inquiry?  They did.  And when I went to go pick the items up the in-store service was friendly and thorough as always.

The vintage ring backs I love and use for my bottle cap rings are adjustable and have a really excellent industrial feel.  I know I’ve been Java Jewelry happy lately, but really who shouldn’t be?  So here is a Java Jewelry ring using these awesome rings:

i love big chunky rings

side view

I would definitely recommend signing up for their mailing list on the website for news about classes, contests, new product and much, much more.  I get the emails about once a week and they are superdeeduper.

Java Jewelry at Coffee By Design

The biggest business news of 2010 for Little Eye Designs is the launch of Java Jewelry at Coffee By Design.  When they approached me at the beginning of this year about an exclusive line of jewelry for their website and four amazing locations in Portland and Freeport, Maine, I was tickled pink.  I had worked at CBD wearing various hats for three years and could not be more excited about tailoring a line of bottle cap jewelry to the company that I know and love so well.  (P.S. The biggest personal news of 2010 is that I became an aunt.  That little girl is a spitfire.)

The fruits of these labors can be seen here, at the Merchandise page of their snazzy new website.  Seriously, Tugboat Creative have outdone themselves.  The java jewelry features six images, my favorite of which is the flowering white Caturra plant from Jardin, Colombia, the prettiest stage in the coffee consumption process (other than maybe the part where we get jazzed up on caffeine and make art!)  This is the picture:

Installation of jewelry cases and necklaces, hair clips, rings, magnets and pins happened at the end of last week in all three Portland locations.  To see these epoxied confections in person check Coffee By Design’s website for directions.   You can also order the jewelry online for the non-Portlanders out there.  Hint:  you can also buy a pound of Coffee By Design’s micro-roasted which basically gets me through early mornings, late nights, after-lunch snacks and pretty much everything else without falling asleep.  I recommend the Costa Rica La Minita which is not only delicious, but coffee from an estate whose philosophies you can feel good about.  I think one day I’d like to visit them to take the creative process one step further and photograph my own images of cherries and flowers…something we’re a bit wanting of here in the cold North East.  Cameras and Costa Rica?  Why, yes, thank you very much!

I think it’s safe to say any time I begin a new, challenging undertaking (like whipping up dozens and dozens of these necklaces!) new ideas are formed and add to the overall craftsmanship of the work I do.  Because I didn’t want beer brands sullying the purity of the coffee images I decided to make some attempts at finishing the backs in CBD’s signature orange, white and black color scheme.  Well, I thought it was so great that now all the Little Eye Designs bottle cap jewelry will be sporting bright colors with splits and splats and gradiants of all colors.  Some experimenting with paints, sealants and finishers guarantee that none of this stuff will rub off on your decolletage!

Annnd if I do say so myself these are pretty much the perfect gift for coffee lovers everywhere.  Matching latte art hair clips, a ring with a big ol’ coffee bean in the middle of it, or a set of magnets for the fridge or pins for your messenger bag.  To boot, the folks at Coffee By Design have decided to make it easier for you to stock up and are offering 10% off of 4 or more magnets or pins.  Perfect!

So excited to share with you this new development after two months of hard work and creativity.  I love coffee, I love staying busy and I love doing custom work so this was truly a pleasure.  Please share any feedback or questions you have about the product or the process!

Convalescing, Craft Style

Hello everybuggy!  I’ve just started this site to keep y’all up to date on the comings and goings of Little Eye Designs.  We (Kate and I) just finished up PICNIC Music and Arts Festival and as my reward I’m taking the month of September to recline, clean up and regroup.  The ultimate goal is to learn some new skills, see if anything sticks and take pictures all the while.

So far, we’ve learned how to roast coffee and I’ve started pouring soy candles in to mismatched tea cups and shot glasses.  Pretty good!  Next up:  basket weaving, baking and t-shirt quilts.

In the meantime, why don’t you let your mind be blown by what I saw today?

Go Here and Drool

There are about a hundred things on this website I wish a) were still made today b) were semi-normal to wear in public.  Not that I would let that stop me.  The jacket shown is by a designer, Fortuny, whose estate’s website is www.fortuny.com and totally Italian and totally inspiring.  In addition to making beautiful velvety clothes he was a renaissance man, photographer, and even made his own photographic paper.  My kind of guy.